Player Character Species for the Tarantium Campaign

January 2, 2014

Today I spent some time fleshing out sentient species that players might use for player characters in a Runequest campaign.  I know this is subject to diminishing returns, in that if I develop more species than players, some or most of them will not be used.  In my Dragon Age game, only one of my five players wanted to play a non-human at campaign launch, although we later ret conned one of the player characters to be a half-elf.  So one of the considerations for me is that each of the species I develop is something that helps explain my campaign world, and will provide NPCs and plot lines for me to use in the play of a campaign.

First Draft – Player Character Species for the Tarantium Campaign

Humans are the dominant race of Koth, both numerically – representing 80 per cent of the world’s population, and politically – ruling all the major Empires and most of the minor Kingdoms and independent enclaves. If you choose to play a non-human species, you should be aware that it is likely to have fewer legal rights than humans, and may encounter prejudice from merchants and officials.

If you wish to play a specific species of your own choosing not from this list, we can probably work something out. If its derived from classical mythology, then it may be a Courtly race, but if its from more recent fantasy, then its likely to be a Conquered species.  The Courtly Folk include:

  • Arani (a giant spider)
  • Brachi (a sentient crab)
  • Ghoul (a humanoid carrion eater)
  • Minotaur (as per classical mythology)
  • Sobek (a crocodile headed humanoid)

The Conquered Peoples include:

  • Alfandi (light skinned, dark haired elves, once farmed the fields of the citadels)
  • Telchari (hairless dwarves, once maintained the sewers in the citadels)
  • Vargr (bipedal wolves, pack creatures with chaotic governments)
  • Vordar (dark skinned, light haired, elves, once the wardens of the citadels).

Arani, Brachi and Vordar do not play well with others of their own species.  Only one PC in the party can come from each of these species.  Ghouls, Sobek and Vargr enjoy and actively seek out the company of others of their own species, unless they are insane or undertaking a ritual quest that requires solitude.

Arani

The Arani spider folk made a deal with the Taran family in the Founding Age, lending them the Arani matriarch’s oracle power, in exchange for protection and a place in society. Arani are respected in the Tarantine Empire, and feared elsewhere. Male Arani are by nature hunter-killers rather than ambushing or web-spinning spiders (which the female Arani are). They do not hunt in packs, and do not enjoy the company of other male Arani. They do respect knowledge, with many becoming scholars, and while not as adept at intrigue as the matriarchs, a few become skilled politicians.

In Tarantium, the male Arani are a bit like the younger sons of noble families, members of an important social class, but not terribly important in of themselves. Some descend to the ground in search of adventure and food, others work for the Empire in a number of roles, and a few just stay close to the Matriarch’s Court, even though this can result in an early death in the mating season.

Only male Arani can be played by PCs – the females are double the SIZ of males and too magically powerful to be balanced for a game. Young Arani males have dark brown – almost black – fur, which lightens to a tan brown colour as they mature. As male Arani age their fur slowly whitens, and the most dangerous elders reach a translucent white colour and can terrify almost any opponent. Male Arani have the following special abilities:

  • Adhering – as long as the Arani does not wear more than quilted/padded armour on its legs, it can move freely on vertical surfaces and ceilings
  • Combat Style – Eight Legged Horror (allows use of Grappling and Venom abilities)
  • Darksense – the eight eyes of the Arani are good for detecting creatures in complete darkness, the spider can make perception checks to detect prey within INT metres of its locations
  • Exoskeleton – an Arani has Armour Points in all hit locations equal to SIZ/7 (round down), armour can be worn over this but a full set of armour is likely to cost double what it would cost a human, due to the skill needed to allow freedom of movement for all eight limbs
  • Grappling – with a successful unarmed attack, you Grapple in addition to inflicting damage, if the attack was parried you gain the Grip effect on a limb, or the Pin effect on a weapon, use your Brawn skill to resist attempts to break free.
  • Improve SIZ – you can always spend experience checks to improve your SIZ, as long as you have consumed sentient magic-using creatures with SIZ/POW greater than your current SIZ/POW within the last lunar month
  • Intimidate – this ability is unlocked when the Arani’s SIZ reaches 20, opponents must make Willpower checks to stand their ground if you threaten them
  • Tool using – two of the front limbs are slightly shorter and have developed for manipulating tools, although Arani are clumsy compared to ten fingered humans they can wield weapons and shields, but they if the hilts/grips are not designed for their use they will struggle with them (make skill checks more difficult)
  • Venom – if the mandibles of the Arani are not impeded by a helmet, they can bite with a 1d6 damage attack anyone they have grappled, if this penetrates any armour, it paralyses the victim after 1d6 rounds (can be resisted) and then does 1 HP of damage per hour to every hit location thereafter as the venom liquefies the insides of the victim, the paralysis effect lasts for CON/4 hours.

Arani use a different hit location table than the humanoid races. See p.389 in RQVI.

Arani names: tend to be complicated and elegant, so much so their companions usually make a nickname for them.

Common Arani passions:

  • Loyalty (Arani Matriarchs)
  • Fear (Arani Matriarchs)
  • Love (Stalking Prey)
  • Respect (Teacher)
  • Loyalty (Tarantine Empire)

Note: Arani are more powerful than humans (although they lose some abilities if wearnig heavy armour), but much harder to roleplay, and there won’t be any casual sexual encounters in taverns.

Brachi

The Brachi are sentient crabs, known for their intelligence and curiosity. They feature in a few myths and legends, sometimes as a trickster figure, but often as a hapless companion of the hero who needs rescuing. They survived the Cataclysm by clinging to rocks and crawling into small tunnels for the ride down from the Moon and are now found throughout the world.

Brachi have a bad reputation for thievery, although they often quickly lose interest in the toys and shiny objects they make off with. If they have a favourite shiny object though, they will be very reluctant to part with it. While Brachi tend to talk/act first and think later, when they do think about a problem they often find solutions no one else thought of. Being smaller than most of the sentient races, they often prefer solving problems in non-violent ways, although if pushed around their claws can be dangerous.

If taught to read and write, Brachi make good scholars and engineers … although careful mentoring is needed to make sure they do not go off on tangents. Some Brachi also become good merchants as they love arguing and can haggle from sunrise to sunset to get the new shiny object at a good price.

Names: there is no logic or consistency to Brachi names, most are self selected and many are ludicrous.

See p.344 RQVI for Brachi hit locations.

Brachi abilities:

  • Burrowing: you can burrow through sand at your normal movement rate, and at quarter movement rate through earth, given enough time you could even work your way through stone
  • Crushing Crustacean Pincers: attack with two pincers doing 1d6 damage
  • Exoskeleton: Brachi have four armour points in all locations
  • Formidable natural weapons: can parry/defelct with natural weapons (claws)
  • Small: Brachi can be generated with a SIZ smaller than 8 if the player chooses this, a minimum SIZ of 3 is required, this can be an advantage in squeezing into small places, but it will disadvantage the character’s Hit Points and damage bonus

Common Brachi Passions:

  • Desire (Shiny New Thing)
  • Love (Learning New Facts)
  • Love (Arguing)
  • Respect (Best Friend in the Whole Wide World)
  • Hate (Thief of Shiny Thing)
  • Espouse (Pet Theory for Everything)

Note: this is the species to play if you want to annoy the hell out of everyone all the time.

Ghoul

The Ghouls first appeared in the legends of the Age of Rebellion, feasting on the corpses of the fallen. They are living creatures, not undead. Ghouls resemble humans in most ways, but are thinner, almost emaciated, deathly pale skin, their teeth are dominated by incisors for ripping flesh, and their fingernails are long and claw like. Ghouls require rotten meat to survive – they are carrion eaters – and normal cooked meat will make them vomit if they try and eat it.

Ghouls occupy a complex position in the margins of civilisation – they do the unpleasant jobs involving ritual pollution that other races prefer not to engage in. Ghouls are found as butchers, tanners, embalmers, executioners and soldiers. If its a filthy, disgusting job, they get to do it, usually for low wages. As long as Ghouls follow the appropriate cleansing rituals, pay taxes and obey the laws, they are left alone. The Tarantine Emperors have often intervened to prevent pogroms against Ghouls – “The coins they pay in taxes smell like those of any other citizen I have sworn to protect.”

Civilised Ghouls wear elaborate headdress and scarves that conceal their disjointed jaws, and gloves that hide their claws. Asking a ghoul to remove their clothing is a very offensive act, one that will alienate the local Ghoul community and could lead to challenges. Ghoul buildings tend to be a warren of tight one way passages and dead ends, and entry into them is considered a polluting act – few people would do it without good cause.

On the ground, some Ghouls have degenerated into feral packs, ambushing and devouring unwary travellers. These packs are hunted down ruthlessly, with fire and the sword.

Names: Arabic culture names are suitable for Ghouls.

Ghoul abilities:

  • Death Sense: a ghoul can sense the death of nearby living creatures, or the location of dead flesh, they have an instinctive feel for scouting out places of death, such as cemeteries, battlefields and abattoirs
  • Hardened Skin: one point of natural armour
  • Regeneration: if able to feast on large quantities of dead flesh, Ghouls can regenerate lost limbs at a rate of 1 Hit Point per location per week, damage caused by fire cannot be regenerated
  • Teeth and Claws: Ghoul teeth do 1d3+1d2 damage, and their claws do 1d4+1d2 damage, plus any damage bonus

Common Ghoul Passions:

  • Respect (Tradition)
  • Desire (Carrion)
  • Observe (Ritual)
  • Loyalty (Family)

Note: a good choice for someone wanting to play the aloof outsider.  Like a lot of choices I intend for Tarantium, its not evil, just a darker than average shade of grey. Its inspired by the Ghul in Amanda Downum’s novel The Kingdoms of Dust.

Minotaur

Minotaurs were bred for war by Mal, an unholy fusion of man and beast. Despite all attempts to compel loyalty, Mal found that Minotaurs were largely uncontrollable, although they could be corrupted to enjoy the blood rage of battle. Getting them back in line again afterwards was difficult. During the course of the Age of the Rebellion, many Minotaurs deserted or defected to join the rebels. Their hatred of Mal and his children, and their works and deeds, is deep and abiding due to the way they were used as expendable shock troops.

More than almost any other race, Minotaurs have embraced Koth. Most have migrated to the ground, where they survive by herding animals and trading for the fruits and grains that dominate their diet. Only a few families remain in the flying cities, where they have proven to excel in the various divine cults, hewing carefully to the old traditions.

Minotaurs have the following abilities:

  • Earthstrong: Minotaurs lose the minimum amount of Areté on failed Areté checks (unless they are deliberately seeking out Forbidden Lore in which case the normal Areté loss applies)
  • Horns and Hide: Minotaurs have three Armour Points in the head. They require custom made helms due to their horns. The Horns can be used to Gore for 1d8 damage.

Names: Ancient Greek culture names are suitable for Minotaurs.

See p.375-377 in RQVI for more information on Minotaurs. The Shaman profession is not available to Minotaurs, and Minotaurs do not have any language penalties.

Note: in RQVI RAW, Minotaurs have much better SIZ/STR characteristics than humans do. In Tarantium they do not get any bonus to characteristics, but the Earthstrong ability and lack of language penalty should compensate for this.  Areté is functionally equivalent to SAN in a Call of Cthulhu game.

Sobek

The Sobek are crocodile headed bipedal humanoids with scaly skin. In myths and legends they are encountered by rivers and other bodies of water, as simple hunter/gatherers, traders and explorers. When the Shining Court was established, many Sobek moved there to indulge in the delights of civilisation and to bask in the reflected light of the Palace. In the Age of Rebellion, the Sobek were the most loyal of all races to Mal, only turning on him when his defeat was clear.

Sobek both respect and desire power, but are often limited by their desire to enjoy the pleasures of life to the full, which includes late breakfasts and basking through the mid day sun. Sobek are often found in criminal gangs, happy to knife someone for a few coins or a cup of wine, or they may be hard-working and enterprising members of merchant guilds, cults, and other organisations … but always likely to be playing the long game of politics. Groups dominated by Sobek often experience prolonged and bitter struggles for power. If a Sobek does rise to undisputed dominance, they can command near fanatical loyalty from their Sobek underlings.

The most important Sobek rite of passage is the acquisition of a weapon. Thereafter a Sobek is never without a weapon – even if it just a small concealed knife. Because Sobek feel the cold more than other species, they often wear several layers of clothing and even wear furs in mid summer.

Of all the creatures of the Moon, the Sobek have most fallen in love with the Sun. Within the Covenant, the Sobek are the largest ethnic minority, after humans, and their ease with sun worship means they face less restrictions than the other non-human races. This has made life for those Sobek within the Tarantine Empire a little more difficult, as many of them are suspected of sympathising with the Covenant’s aims.

Names: Ancient Egyptian culture names are suitable for Sobek.

Sobek have the following abilities:

  • Tough scales: one point of natural armour in all hit locations
  • Bite: 1d8 attack from their very sharp teeth
  • Cold Blooded: Sobek do not need to eat frequently, only requiring one meal a week, but cold temperatures make them sluggish and torpid (they sleep through much of winter and stay awake through much of summer) – without warm clothing they lose six Strike Ranks and one Action Point in cold weather
  • Hold Breath: if prepared a Sobek can hold its breath underwater for CON minutes (halve this duration if swimming or fighting).

Common Sobek Passions:

  • Indulge (Decadent Vice)
  • Respect (Power)
  • Desire (Warmth)
  • Retain (Weapon)

Note: this is the Lizardman/Ophidian race for Tarantium. As sun loving creatures, Night Sense did not make much sense, so I swapped it for Hold Breath. The Bite attack damage has been increased, but Sobek don’t have a venomous bite.

 

The Conquered Peoples I am still working on.  The Vargr will be familiar to anyone who has played Traveller, as I loved playing them.  The other species are the standard FRPG cliches, with the Telchari being pretty much a straight import from my current Dragon Age game.  There will be other sentient races, but they will be almost universally hostile to humanity, and so will be unsuited for PC use.


The Red Eye School of Sorcery

December 31, 2013

Continuing with my campaign development over the holiday break.  My plan is to eventually develop five orders of sorcery, along with some religious cults and mystic orders, for use by player characters.  For this school of sorcery, I started with the Scholastic Order template on page 308 0f the Runequest VI rules and then modified it a bit.  The background is loosely inspired by some of the Odin myths, and I have subverted the standard trope of the reclusive nerdy mage, by making the order a bit more interested in the pleasures of the flesh.

The Red Eye School of Sorcery

The most obvious sign of a Red Eye mage, is that one of their eyes is missing, usually as part of a deliberate initiation ritual. A true master of the school can be recognised by the fact that both of their eyes have been removed! Note: the missing eye(s) cannot be regenerated by any magic means. Eye patches are often worn, and prosperous members of the order wear red coloured robes made from expensive fabrics, and for formal occasions a cloak of raven feathers. If they have a staff, it is usually white.

The first eye removed by this order is deliberately destroyed in a magic ritual that creates a charm for the sorcerer that makes them harder to be found by tracking or scrying (increase the difficulty level of such skill checks by one level). The loss of an eye makes all sight based perception checks one level of difficulty harder.

The Red Eye school originated in the Moon Age, a sorcerer known as Sarak of the Wandering Eye was exiled from Mal’s Court after making the mistake of propositioning all three of Mal’s daughters at a Ball. In the Shadowlands he was trapped by the Queen of Thorns (after mortally offending her in a botched seduction attempt) and impaled on the Whistling Thorn Tree. Trapped on the tree, with his life’s blood staining his previously white robes, and carrion birds circling around, Sarak endured pain and agony. Eventually the Raven flew in close and bargained with Sarak teaching him a song that would free him in exchange for a morsel of flesh. While Sarak felt tricked when Raven took his eye as the “morsel”, he was free to continue his wanderings, fumbled courtings, and led a long life of research and discovery.

Sarak’s book of knowledge is known as the Veiled Volume, and it is written in a language taught only to members of the order, and it can be read by people who are blind.

The Red Eye Order rose to prominence in the Rebellion age, when people rebelled against the tradition’s and restrictions of the Shining Court. Red Eye sorcerers were happy to share their discoveries of different ways of doing things, and quite happily broke with old conventions. It has largely retained a presence in the Imperial Court, apart from a period of suppression during the time of the Harem Emperor’s, and is responsible for tuition of the Imperial family and maintaining the Imperial library.

The order continues to be involved in significant research, discovery and exploration … along with some of the major court scandals. While scholastic, its members are not known for denying themselves the pleasures of the flesh, if anything they experiment with discovering its limits of endurance.

Magic Points

A Red Eye sorcerer regenerates magic points after the sun has set for the day.

Runes

Truth and Magic.

Skills

Insight, Invocation (Red Eye), Language (Blind)*, Lore (Any), Perception, Shaping, Willpower.

Spells in the Veiled Volume

Abjure (Pain), Evoke (Razantar), Eye for an Eye (Castback), Intuition, Mystic (Hearing), Perceive (Magic), Raven’s Song (Neutralise Magic), Raven’s Wings (Fly), Red Light*, Sense (Knowledge), Wandering Eye*.

Red Light Spell

This spell can be used to illuminate an area with a red light, emanating from a point chosen by the caster. The light is just sufficient to read by, but will not disrupt vision at night time (unlike a bright light). While the red light persists, the caster can augment their Seduction checks with their Invocation (Red Eye) skill.

Wandering Eye

This spell is used to animate an artificial eye crafted by the Sorcerer (as well as delicate cogwheels and mechanisms the eye usually requires wings from a small magical creature and a small ruby). A lens or monocle is also crafted to go with this. In use the spell is similar to Project (Sense), although the physical eye can be detected and destroyed, but the receiving view piece can be shifted between different people.

Gift – Summon Ranaztar of the Thousand Eyes

When the sorcerer is inducted as a full member of the Order, the masters will summon Ranaztar to oversee the ceremony. If Ranaztar detects disloyalty in the heart of the Apprentice, it will devour both of the Apprentice’s eyes, and then the Masters will expel the apprentice. Otherwise Ranaztar assists the Masters in destroying the eye the Apprentice will sacrifice. When the sorcerer becomes a Master, they can summon Ranaztar and sacrifice their remaining eye (which Ranaztar adds to their collection) in exchange for one of the following gifts:

  •  +1d6 INT
  • a Lore skill at 100% (this cannot be Forbidden Lore).

A master sorcerer of the Red Eye can attempt to summon Razantar at any time, provided they can gift it with the eyes of magically powerful people or creatures.

Duties

Novices and apprentices are required to assist higher ranked members of the order, and often spend long hours copying library manuscripts. Adepts and other high rank members are obliged to assist anyone who comes to them with a novel problem (although a gift is customary after the problem has been dealt with). There is an old Imperial Law requiring all children in the Imperial family to be tutored by a Red Eye sorcerer, although given the rate at which past Imperial tutors have been executed, exiled or imprisoned by the Emperor’s, this is not a popular duty. The order as a whole is hostile to the puritans in the Covenant, supporting imperial campaigns against them.


The Ghost Hands

November 20, 2013

Mucking around with some ideas for a Runequest VI campaign setting, one of which is that I want all the cults and brotherhoods that the players could join to have something questionable about them, even when they are socially accepted and seen as “good” for civilisation.

The Ghost Hand School of Sorcery

The most obvious sign of a Ghost Hand mage, is that one of their hands has been amputated, usually as part of a deliberate initiation ritual. A true master of the school can be recognised by the fact that both of their hands have been amputated! Note: the missing hand(s) cannot be regenerated by any magic means.

The amputated hand is kept and preserved, as it allows the school to track down any aberrant apprentices. Once the member is a trusted adept, the hand may be returned to them for animation as a familiar (with the enchant spell), the completion of which is one of the markers of the rank of mage.

The Ghost Hand school originated in the Moon Age, when an exile from Mal’s court known as the First Hand wandered the shadowlands and bartered the sensation of pain for knowledge from demons and other creatures of shadow. The first amputation granted him insight sufficient to trick a demon who had bound his soul.

The Ghost Hands rose to prominence in the Founding age, when mortality struck and people did not know what to do with ghosts. The Ghost Hands had some knowledge of the spirit world and were able to drive off or destroy the first wave of ghosts. While other ways of dealing with ghosts are now known, the order retains some prestige from this event. Nomad Shamans hate Ghost Hand sorcerers, and delight in continuing the amputation process if an unlucky sorcerer falls into their hands.

The order continues to research ghosts and spirits, and the methods for defending against them, and driving them off or destroying them. A few renegades have been found who used forbidden knowledge to dominate ghosts for their own nefarious ends.

Runes

Death and Magic, although the order refers to Death as the Shadow rune and tends to embellish it somewhat in the order’s manuscripts.

Skills

Invocation (Ghost Hands), Lore (Ghosts), Shaping, Willpower.

Spells

Banish, Bypass Armour, Enchant, Ghost Hand*, Mark, Mystic, Repulse (Ghosts), Spirit Resistance, Transfer Wound, Wrack (soul).

Ghost Hand Spell

This spell creates a ghostly hand, in the place of the sorcerer’s missing hand, that can pass through solid material, and is capable of manipulating objects. All apprentices are taught this spell after their initiation amputation ceremony is completed.  This spell is unique to the Ghost Hand order, and greedy apprentices who have tried to sell the secret have found themselves being choked to death by invisible hands.

Gift – Summon Karach 

Karach is the shadow demon who once enslaved the First Hand. This gift may be granted to exceptional Mages, but is more likely to be granted to Arch Mages who have proven themselves to be beyond temptation. Among other powers, Karach can cast Sculpt (Shadow). The first time he is summoned, the character must successfully bargain with him, trading the demon a permanent point of magic in exchange for knowledge (which can be represented by bonus experience rolls). This magic point is regained if the character amputates their remaining hand.

Duties

Novices and apprentices are required to assist higher ranked members of the order. Adepts and other high rank members are obliged to give aid to anyone who is afflicted by ghosts (although a gift is customary after the spirit has been dealt with). The order as a whole is hostile to nomads and their ghost wielding shaman, supporting imperial campaigns against them, and so as individuals Ghost Hand sorcerers are quite prejudiced against nomads

 


A week without computer games

May 13, 2012

Day 6, my fingers twitch, but as much as I’d like to play some computer games I’m going to be good and follow my GPs advice on dealing with the tennis elbow in my left arm.  I did log into World of Tanks to take advantage of the VE day specials, and to take a look at how my Soviet heavy tanks had been rejigged, but I successfully resisted the x5 experience bonus and logged out of the game afterwards.  For a right hander, getting tennis elbow in the left hand is rare, I suspect its the dominance of WASD keys in modern gaming that has done it to me (that and playing computer games 4+ hours a night).

Grand Strategy

This does leave me with a lot of time for reading and thinking, so a good chunk of today was spent working on the Sun & Starship rules for Buckets of Dice 2012.  Most of this was spent trying to nail down control of tokens, so people will always know who controls what in the game, or how control changes between players.  I’m deliberately forcing players to keep ships concentrated in no more than three stacks, so as to encourage raiding tactics and to make it difficult to build solid defence lines.

The Senate Bills have also been fleshed out.  Each of the five committees gets one to four Bills each turn. The exact number is determined by the Treasury Committee, which can increase or reduce the Bills other committees get.  After the first draft I did a second pass for balance, prompted by realising that one committee had a power worth +/- 10 victory points, so I made sure the other committees had something comparable.  I then did a second pass to increase the horse trading options so that most bills gave out boosts to more than one player at a time.

Planning ahead for 2013 I would like to design a railway building game.  This would include options I wish were included in most published railway building games, to whit, the option to say “Screw this, mobilise the army” when someone else pips you to the next rail hub.

Roleplaying Games

I am following the development of the next edition of Dungeons & Dragons over at http://community.wizards.com/dndnext without a lot of enthusiasm.  While I purchased the core 4th edition books, I found that the game had gone too much towards a fully blown miniatures wargame and away from the narrative combat (“theatre of the mind”) that I use in resolving a lot of tabletop conflict.  As a GM I simply couldn’t fit the options available to the players into my own mind, making the game too complicated for me to design scenarios for.  That said, the actual written advice on running/designing campaigns was solid.

I am much more looking forward to The Design Mechanism’s sixth edition of Runequest, especially after the PDF preview was put up at: http://www.thedesignmechanism.com/resources/RQ%20Preview%201.pdf.  I like the clean, uncluttered layout, and the style of artwork.  I’m intrigued by the inclusion of cultural passions (e.g. loyalty, love, hate) and how they might influence the mechanics.  It’s also good to see that mysticism will be a valid magic system in the main rules.

In part because of the upcoming RQVI I took a look at the Stafford Library’s Arcane Lore, which is essentially a 129 pages of GM/design notes on hero questing. One of the big frustrations of RQ was that there never seemed to be enough information about the hero quests of Glorantha to actually run players through, unless you were willing to hunt through obscure mail order fanzines.  I suspect my next campaign game will use Runequest rules, although it may not be a Glorantha setting – there are hints that a new edition of roleplaying rules for the Artesia setting will be a D20/RQ ruelset.

Grabbing a few other PDF’s to read this week, I was disappointed by Monte Cook’s Ruins of Intrigue. While its only 98 pages long, I was hoping for a bit more in the way of interesting crumbled ruins and a lot less overland/wilderness terrain.  While the alternate secrets for major NPCs and foes was nice, with competing explorer factions for Casablanca intrigue, it would have been nice for a range of lost artefacts and other lootable stuff to have been detailed rather than leaving the GM to make up all the loot themselves.

In an old school kick again, I picked up the D&D 3.5 edition of Blackmoor, in part because I read that the map in the 4th edition version was less than helpful. That’s next on the reading list.

Gaming Recap

Skyrim – still have not resumed play of this.

World of Warcraft – 3/8 hard modes, expansion is definitely winding down, have BETA invite not using it yet as I have no interest in the levelling content (I do want to see how the Paladin heals 5 mans and raids).  Guild finished the Rogue legendary dagger two weeks back, so we may go back and finish the Firelands legendary staff next.  Have been trying to clear off some grindy achievements in the down time – still have not found a useful BOE in archeaology.

TERA MMORPG – not going to touch this one, can we please have real armour for females in games?

Secret World MMORPG – looks interesting, modern day occult horror, but dear god where would I find the time!

World of Tanks – upgraded to a premium account, changed play away from acquiring new tanks to focusing on the ones I have that are fun to play – trying to get crew skills to 100%. So while I have researched the SU-14 for example, I’m still happy playing the SU-8 as my artillery piece.  Patch 7.3 has rejigged the Soviet tree, so I’m going to have to relearn how to play the KVs – the 152mm “derp” howitzer has been shifted from the KV 1 to the KV2.

Guild Wars 2 – still looking forward to this after reading more beta info, as a non-subscription MMORPG its one that will be easy to play for just a few hours every now and then.

SWTOR – got bounty hunter healer to L40, enjoying healing much more than tanking, deep down I still prefer WoW.